It's time to take a break from my usual book reviews and talk about a book for a much younger crowd. Sometimes it's fun to read a book like Backyard Horses and let it take me back to my childhood when I loved books like this. Really, what girl doesn't love horses? Even though I am an adult, I had such an enjoyable time with this book. The story is wholesome and fun and Ellie reminds me a little of myself when I was that age. This book is not only an entertaining book for the young reader, but it is also educational. Readers will learn about horses and sign language. They will also learn valuable Christian lessons. I highly recommend Backyard Horses and certainly the rest of the Horse Dreams series. Dandi Daley Mackall sure has a love for horses and a love for ministering and educating young girls in a way they will respond to.
Backyard Horses was exactly the series I was looking for for my daughters, who love Jesus, love horses, and are in 2nd grade. The author also wrote a series for older readers called "Winnie the Horse Gentler" and I tried that first but I'd recommend it for middle school students and up. Besides being harder to read, those books sometimes deal with harder issues that wouldn't be understandable by anyone younger than pre-teen. Backyard Horses, however, is a fairly new series and is written at around a 2nd/3rd grade reading level. Love, love, love this series! My daughters love Ellie, the heroine of the story! There are so far 4 books in the series and we started with book 1 in order to read them, well, in order. The heroine of the story, Ellie, is a sweet, oftentimes feisty, day-dreaming 4th grader. In the first book, she often day-dreamed about her own horse. She decides to do a "science" experiment... she'll "beg, cry, and pray" for a horse of her own and find out what way works best for getting horses. I don't think it's spoiling anything to say that God will answer her prayer... but in a different way than she imagined. I highly recommend this book to school children. It's filled with a good story, important lessons, and a little girl who places her hope in God. I also highly recommend Cowboy Colt, Chasing Dream, and Nightmare, the others in the series.
Horse Dreams is a short, enjoyable read. It's about horses & receiving the answer to our prayers. While it is geared to younger readers, I enjoyed reading it as well.